The building of Lincoln Cathedral, like Lincoln Castle was ordered by William I. It is built on top of the site of the St. Mary Magdalene church built by the Anglo Saxons and is one of the finest Gothic Cathedrals in Europe. The cathedral which is only 100 yards or so from Lincoln Castle is breathtaking both inside and out.
Elliott Simpson, Creative Commons
View of the cathedral from Lincoln Castle
The building you see today has evolved over time with many alterations especially during the first two centuries of its existence. The first cathedral which had a wooden roof was destroyed by fire and much of the second one was destroyed by earthquake. Henry VIII confiscated everything of any great value and also had tombs destroyed. During the English Civil War, Parliamentary soldiers plundered not only the cathedral but the town as well.
Richard Croft, Creative Commons
There have been some bazaar happenings in Lincoln Cathedral. One of the early Bishops was made a saint. In 1280 St. Hugh's body was moved to a more honored position in the cathedral and some time after that his head was removed from his body and placed in a gold and silver box which was embellished with precious stones. Twice a year the box was opened for view by pilgrims who gave money to the cathedral for the privilege of seeing the head. In between times the box was placed behind an iron grill and was guarded day and night. Even so, it was stolen, the head thrown into a field, and the box sold in London.The head was recovered, a new case made and it was put back where it belonged. It is no longer in the cathedral. It was the type of thing Henry VIII had removed during the dissolution.
In 1309 some of the Knights Templar were put on trial in the chapter-house next to the cathedral. Most of them ended up in the Tower of London. Some of them were given stipends and lived out their lives in various manor houses in Lincolnshire.
The cathedral was the site of the filming of The Da Vinci Code in 2005. In the film Lincoln Cathedral is supposed to be Westminster Abbey. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Dan Brown. Since The Da Vinci Code was written, another author, Dan Green has written a booked called The Lincoln Da Vinci Code. Mr. Green puts forth a theory that Lincoln Cathedral is the actual resting place of Mary Magdalene. There are some very mysterious things about the cathedral but
I will talk about them on another page.
Ian Carrington, Creative Commons
Cathedral Chapter House
During the summer visiting hours are from 7:15 am to 8 pm Monday through Friday. On Saturday it closes at 6 pm.
During the winter visiting hours are from 7:15 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday. On Saturday it closes at 5 pm.
Photography is free unless it is for commercial purposes which require permission from the Canon-in-Residence.
Toilet facilities are available and provisions have been made for the disabled. Guided floor and roof tours are available and are free of charge. There is a Refectory where you can purchase hot meals or snacks and a gift shop. There is an information desk where questions can be answered.
At various times throughout the year there are special tours where you can view things like the cathedral craftsmen at work in their workshops, see the ringing of the bells in the bell tower, exhibitions, and concerts. If you are an amature organist you can even arrange to play the organ for half an hour.
More Pictures of Lincoln Cathedral
David Wright, Creative Commons
Banner of St. Hugh. St. Hugh, when he was Bishop, had a pet swan that followed him everywhere and kept guard over him at night.
Dave Hitchborne, Creative Commons
Tomb of Bishop Fleming.